Injury begins and ends with bad habits that are formed over a long period of time. As active people, working professionals, athletes, mothers and fathers we tend to ignore the signs & symptoms related to pre-injury potential until it is too late. Understanding and identifying the reason you were injured is not as important as the steps you should take to lift yourself out of the compromised state of injury.
Factors that play a role in pre-injury include; Over training, poor daily posture, sedentary lifestyle, too much junk food not enough anti-inflammatory muscle repairing foods, poor body mechanics, over use of one side of the body vs the other & a lack of stretching or foam rolling throughout your life.
- Lifestyle Risk Factors
Sarcopenia, or muscle loss due to inactivity, accounts for $18.5 billion in healthcare costs yearly along with bone fracture related costs which is $16.5 billion per year. The incidence from people under 70 yrs of age is 24% while over 50% in those older than 70 yrs old. The most significant risk factor for injury is a sedentary lifestyle. Other injuries that play a role in increased inflammatory cytokines (inflammation cells/proteins) are related to over-training, stress, smoking and poor dietary choices.
The best way or most practical way to combat the surge of inflammatory cytokines that leads to musculoskeletal compromise is through stretching and foam rolling. You can stretch anywhere and everywhere. Bringing a foam roller to work or keeping it in your car should not be an issue. When you are beginning to feel stiff utilize stretching and foam rolling methods we have taught you through other blog posts & videos.
Focus on effective breathing techniques throughout your day. Effective breathing can reduce stress while improving overall metabolic health. Combine stretching , foam rolling and effective breathing. Make sure you are breathing in through your nose over a 5 second interval and out through your mouth/nose over 5 seconds. In sum, the entire duration should last close to 10 seconds. If you have mastered this breathing technique then breathe slower over 20 seconds vs. 10 seconds.
Effective breathing techniques begin with humidification of air as it passes through your nose, down the nasopharynx to you lungs. Make sure you are drawing air down into the abdomen and not the gut. Do not focus on chest rise, instead focus on abdominal expansion. When you breathe through the abdomen you massage the organs of the abdomen. Only take in and expel breaths that are 70% of your maximum effort.
In order for you body to maintain a healthy optimally efficient metabolism we suggest taking some essential supplementation to aid in recovery. Post injury recovery, post-workout recovery, stress recover and sedentary lifestyle recovery all respond well to supplementation.
For sleep we recommend kava, chamomile, lavender, cbd or some relaxing herbs to calm he mind. Additionally, essential oils can aid in healthy sleep patterns. For energy we recommend supplements with caffeine, taurine, beta-alanine, NO2 and creatine. Choose a supplement that does not contain food coloring or high fructose derived GMO sugars. Finally, for anti-inflammation, we suggest probiotics, CBD oil/snacks, pineapple extract, spirulina, cholera, high pH alkaline water and hemp derived supplements.
Depending on how you approach work, a workout, hobby or fun activity, approaching an effective stretch routine as if your life depended on it. Do not stick with a boring or basic stretching routine. In the picture, Kylie is getting ready for a 5k run. Instead of stretching indoors she uses anything she can find to assist in loosening key areas that affect her performance. She started her run with a 2-min walk then added in deep effective stretching prior to running her 5k rout. Click Here for the video.
Deep effective stretching does not feel pleasant at first. As you approach deep stretching you will discover other associated hidden areas that add to musculoskeletal postural compromise. Start by breathing effectively, slow your mind so you do not hyper-focus on the discomfort while holding the stretch for 30-60 seconds. As you hold the stretch do not hold your breath. Breath rhythmically & try to relax your mind as your muscles begin to relax. As your muscles begin to relax you will feel a very satisfying endorphin rush. That endorphin rush will become addicting.
When you combine all of the above methods together you will discover true healing. As you discover the most effective methods for your training you will have an answer to all of your musculoskeletal concerns. You will not fear injury any longer. You will not fear injury because you have discovered how to prevent injury from happening all together. Additionally & most importantly, the deeper the routine is challenged the faster you will heal after an acute injury.
The deeper you stretch your muscle fibers the more stem cells you release. The more that you stimulate innate healing factors the more frequent they will be in circulation to inhibit inflammatory cytokines that damage muscle tissue. In sum, you will discover injury is for those that fear being injured & don’t do anything about it other than complain that “life is not fair.” Do not accept acute disability that will in fact turn into chronic disease stimulated disability.
The concepts that you have just learned is only the surface of the new science related to musculoskeletal recovery. The truth is that we can heal very quickly as long as we maintain great posture, improve breathing habits with deep abdominal breathing, de-stress the mind daily by listen to relaxing music & meditation. Metabolic health is gained through eating healthy phytonutrient rich foods that the body recognizes, stay hydrated with 3 liter to 1 gallon of H2O, consume a seasonally appropriate diet, use supplements that will aid in the healing process and use natural sleep aids if needed. Finally, take preventative steps to avoid compromising spine alignment. The spine will be flexible through proper posture corrective therapies such as foam rolling, Qi Gong style stretch, corrective spine twists and seek chiropractic care occasionally to optimize spinal alignment. In doing so, your CNS and PNS will fire with ease as they were intended to function from day 1.